Planets and Moons  ID: 4222

Sun view of Comet Siding Spring and the Mars orbiting fleet

This visualization shows active spacecraft orbiting Mars and their relationship to Comet Siding Spring. The comet passes very close to Mars on October 19, 2014. The camera is looking from the direction of the Sun towards Mars. The camera is fixed to Mars and the orbit trail of Mars goes off to the right.

As Comet Siding-Spring makes its way through the Martian neighborhood it reaches the closest distance at about 18:32 UT. Debris left by the comet follows behind the comet on the line representing where the comet was. This derbis impacts Mars at about 20:08 UT. Scientists and engineers are concerned that the derbis may harm the spacecraft. Several of the spacecraft have executed orbital maneuvers to put them on the opposite side of Mars when the debris impacts.


Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Ernie Wright (USRA): Animator
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Producer
David Folta (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Bruce Jakosky (LASP): Scientist
Kelly Fast (NASA/HQ): Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
JPL DE421 also referred to as: DE421
Ephemeris - NASA/JPL
also referred to as: GSFC Flight Dynamics Facility Ephemeris
Ephemeris - GSFC/FDF
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:

SVS >> Comet
SVS >> Mars
SVS >> Orbit
SVS >> Solar System >> Orbits
SVS >> Solar System >> Planets >> Moons
SVS >> Solar System >> Moons
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons